Beer sales may be down for big names like Budweiser and Coors, but craft sales are up — and regional breweries caught in the middle are padding their portfolios with lucrative independent breweries. North American Breweries, the company that owns New York's Genesee Brewing Company and has the selling and marketing rights for Labatt in the US, has acquired craft brewing company Independent Brewers United. IAB owns several popular independent breweries, including Vermont's Magic Hat, Washington's Pyramid, and Portland, Oregon's MacTarnahan's.
NAB intends to basically leave Magic Hat alone, maintaining recipes and retaining staff members (no word on the others beyond "a commitment to their heritage and superior quality"). While this could mean great things for the breweries including wider availability and more marketing dollars, we can't help but wonder how this will affect the beer. Surely recipe development will be slowed by corporate bureaucracy, and with key executives and co-founders leaving for different projects, the breweries could be looking at a bland future.
· KPS Capital Partners Portfolio Company North American Breweries, Inc. Acquires Independent Brewers United, Inc. [PR Newswire]
· Magic Hat sold to North American Breweries [Burlington Free Press]
· All Beer coverage on Eater National [-E-]
Magic Hat co-founder Alan Newman. [Photo: AP]